Home » ExchangeEveryDay » One Caring Adult Can Make All the Difference

ExchangeEveryDay Past Issues

<< Previous Issue | View Past Issues | | Next Issue >> ExchangeEveryDay
One Caring Adult Can Make All the Difference
February 14, 2019
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
-Charles M. Schulz

“New research sheds light on the effects that childhood experiences—both good and bad—have on the developing brain. But are schools keeping up?” So begins an article on the Edutopia website, written by Heather Riley and Youki Terada.

The authors quote Pamela Cantor, MD, who is “part of a cross-disciplinary team of experts studying the science of learning and development. ‘The 20th-century education system was never designed with the knowledge of the developing brain…So when we think about the fact that learning is a brain function and we have an education system that didn’t have access to this critical knowledge, the question becomes: Do we have the will to create an education system that’s informed by it?’

Contrary to the long-held belief that brain maturation is largely complete by the age of 6, we now know that our brains are malleable and continue to change dramatically well into our 20s. This has profound implications for learning throughout the school-age years. Because our neural tissues change in response to our environment, our experiences, and our relationships, a young child who faces persistent adversity at home, for example, will frequently retreat into ‘fight or flight’ mode to protect themselves from violence or abuse. Over time, the brain’s circuitry rewires, favoring aggressive or anxious tendencies at the cost of cognition, reasoning, and memory. These children are also more likely to be placed in special education programs, be held back a grade, and have behavioral issues at school…

The good news is that while toxic stress and abusive relationships can inhibit learning, positive and supportive learning environments can stem the tide. A trusting relationship with an adult—a teacher or guidance counselor, for example—can be a protective buffer against the negative effects of stress.

And because the brain is malleable and continually developing well into adulthood, a student can still meet his or her full potential, despite initial—or even ongoing—negative experiences. According to a 2015 Harvard report, having at least one adult in a child’s life who provides a stable, caring, and supportive relationship is one of the strongest ways to build resilience and help stack the scale against adversity.”

Source: “Bringing the Science of Learning Into Classrooms,” by Heather Riley and Youki Terada, Edutopia.

Out of the Box Training Kits

All Out of the Box Training Kits
are buy one, get one FREE for a limited time.

Out of the Box Training Kits, such as "Journeys in Emergent Curriculum with Preschoolers," explore the idea of emergent curriculum and how it can lead to increased child engagement and deeper learning. Teachers will gain skills and knowledge as to how to plan curriculum based on children's interests.

Use code B1G1 when prompted.

May not be combined with any other offer.
Offer applies to PDF veresions only.
Sale expires February 20, 2019, at 11:59 pm PST.


Delivered five days a week containing news, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.


What is ExchangeEveryDay?

ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

Clean 4 Kids - Learn Just How Important Kepping Your School Clean Is.
Zaentz Professional Learning Academy - Professional Development Designed for Early Education Leaders.
EKU - Earn Your Early Childhood Director Certificate While You Complete Your Bachelor's Degree.

Post a Comment

Have an account? to submit your comment.


Your e-mail address will not be visible to other website visitors.

Check the box below, to help verify that you are not a bot. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this form.

Disclaimer: Exchange reserves the right to remove any comments at its discretion or reprint posted comments in other Exchange materials.